Two of the sail rigs are now in the back of Thursday, the silver 850. I’ll unload them in a minute, and see about getting the back yard mowed. I got a late start yesterday afternoon – Caution-Lady made pizza, and we watched episode three of Petticoat Junction – so only got the front yard mowed. That was great television.
I arose early this morning, drank coffee, ate oatmeal, washed the cars, cleaned and dressed eight wheels, eight tires, aired them up. By the time I’d finished that, Caution-Lady wanted me to hold little ’76 for awhile. Then it was time to drive down to Chattanooga. I-24 crosses the Elk, and I kept thinking the next bridge was the river. After what seemed a long way, I passed the Elk River sign, and crossed over the point to which I intend to paddle tomorrow.
In Chattanooga, I took the Fourth Avenue exit, left, then right on 23rd, and left again on Dodd. Passed an old house on the hillside to my right with Tara-style columns painted a vulgar red, and a sign which read something like “Yum Yum Good Chinese Food.” Looked disreputable, like something from a Sax Rohmer novel written in a Southern, Raymond-Chandleresque universe through which I happened to be driving. Urban decay and wild, untrimmed growth of hedges, garden plants, indigenous flowering vines.
Because of an unforeseen communication snafu, I had to wait about 40 minutes for the rig’s owner. I sort of enjoyed sitting in the front porch swing at 154, listening to the insects, air smelling of small flowers from the hedge close by, imagining what the neighborhood might have been like when the front entryways had screen doors instead of bars. I learned to paint houses, replace and glaze window panes, on old houses. I like best the ones with raised, cool, concrete porches.
The drive home was pretty uneventful, except near the I-24 West onramp where a tall black transvestite evidently in the throes of drug addiction, mental illness, or both performed a sort of chicken-dance at the occupants of the car ahead of me. I just nodded to the dancer and drove on.
Got around some unconscionably slow drivers outside of Chattanooga, ran into spattering rain that side of Monteagle Mountain (if that’s what it’s really called), got around a brake-rider on a curve coming back down the mountain. By the time I turned at my street, the Sparks were predicting a number of events both probable, then increasingly unlikely. Moscow will march to France, then do the can-can dance…